by Laura Hannity Harris
I recently listened to an audio book, entitled “Outliers: The Story of Success,” by New York Times best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. The word “Outliers” in the title refers to a statistical term for a phenomenon that lies outside of everyday experience, something that cannot be explained through the normal rules. “Outliers” can further be defined as something or someone that is situated away from the main body.
Although the author’s primary focus is on the career achievements of successful individuals, the concept of being an “Outlier” resonated with me because of its parallels to my Christian life. As a Christian, I often make choices that go against the “normal rules” of human reasoning in order to abide by God’s biblical principles. To an uncalled individual, my actions may seem strange and unorthodox. As a result, I sometimes feel ostracized from others because of my decisions.
I’ve had many “Outlier” experiences since being called to God’s Way of Life–losing a dream job because of my unwillingness to work on the weekends, excluded by friends for not socializing on Friday nights or holidays, or ending a romantic relationship because of my unwillingness to convert to another religion. The initial sting of rejection often hurts me, but God has always provided me with better jobs, better friends and a better mate.
It has been so encouraging for me to understand that God has set me apart from others by calling me out of this world now, setting me up for success to reach the Kingdom of God. Knowing this, it motivates me to embrace my “Inner-Outlier.”